Lord of Temptation(Lost Lords of Pembrook,Book 2)(48) by Lorraine Heath
He’d spoken with her, and it wasn’t enough. He wanted a dance.
He’d had his dance, and now he wanted one more.
He wondered if he could lure her into the garden for a kiss. Just one more—
At the sound of Lord Jameson’s commanding voice, Tristan took a last drag on his cheroot, dropped it to the ground as he exhaled, and snuffed out the sparks with his boot. He turned to find four fair-haired gents blocking his way. “Ah, Lord Blackwood’s sons, I take it.”
“You are never to go near our sister again,” Jameson said.
“Your sister strikes me as a lady with a mind of her own. If the words come from her, I’ll heed them. From you, no, m’lord.”
“How do you know our sister?” one of the others asked. He appeared to be the youngest. A year, maybe two older than Anne.
“How does any gentleman know any lady?”
“The problem there, Lord Tristan, is that none of us consider you a gentleman,” Jameson snapped. “We watched as you cut your swath through London’s ladies two years ago. Our sister will not succumb to your charms.”
She already has, m’lord, hung at the edge of his tongue like some poor blighter forced to walk the plank in shark-infested waters. Those words would earn him a sound beating from the gents who stood before him. But more, they would anger Anne and he wasn’t quite done with her yet. Of course, neither was he done taunting Lord Jameson. He had decided that he didn’t much like the fellow. He could hardly signify that this man was Anne’s brother.
“Lady Hermione didn’t succumb, my lord. We never shared more than a dance.”
Even though they were in shadows, enough light filtered in from the garden path for Tristan to see the fury ignite Jameson’s eyes. He’d noticed the way the man looked at Lady Hermione, and Tristan was fairly satisfied to see that he’d guessed correctly at some of what might lie beneath the man’s animosity toward him. You’re welcome to her, old man.
“Why the devil would I care about that?” Jameson asked.
“Because you fancy her, my lord.”
“You know nothing. Stay clear of our sister or you’ll know the weight of our fists.” The man charged toward the doors leading back into the ballroom.
His brothers weren’t so quick to leave. They each took a moment to glare at Tristan, issuing their silent challenges, before sauntering away.
He glanced up at the hazy sky. Damn but he hated London, Society, the rules. He needed the wind around him and the sea beneath him. He’d been residing at Sebastian’s residence, but tonight, he decided, he’d sleep on his ship, just to have the rocking motion that had so often lulled him.
“Tell me that barbarian is not the sea captain you hired.”
Anne was grateful for the dark confines of the carriage because she was relatively certain based on the heat searing her face that she was now scarlet. Jameson had just delivered their aunt to her residence and was now escorting Anne home. Her other brothers had departed from the ball at various times to head to their clubs. It seemed Jameson, however, was taking his role of oldest brother to the extreme.
“Good God, he is, isn’t he?” he asked.
“I knew him only as Captain Crimson Jack,” she admitted rather reluctantly, but she couldn’t see lying about it. She didn’t need him making inquiries along the docks. Sooner or later he was bound to uncover the truth anyway. Better to control the discovery and subsequent consequences.
“What a colorful moniker.”
“He came highly recommended and he was a perfect gentleman on the ship.”
“He is not a gentleman. He gave Lady Hermione cause to believe he would ask for her hand and he did not. He left with nary a word and she has been pining for him ever since. Now he is back and he didn’t even bother to call on her.”
Now Anne wished for some light so she could study her brother’s face in the shadows. His voice held such distaste that she was surprised he wasn’t spitting. “You seem more concerned with his treatment of her than my acquaintance with him.”
“I’m only telling you of his behavior so you understand he is a blackguard of the lowest order. Not to be trusted. I forbid you to speak with him again.”
Forbid her? She almost snapped that it wasn’t his place to forbid her anything. Instead she stared out the window. Tristan had claimed her for the final dance of the evening. She wasn’t certain where he’d been all night. After his dance with Lady Hermione he had disappeared. She’d feared that he’d left. A silly thing to worry over but she had wanted another dance with him.
But then he’d appeared, as though out of thin air. Perhaps he’d been playing cards. It didn’t matter. She was back in his arms, and while she knew it was a very dangerous place to be, she couldn’t help but feel glad to be there. They didn’t speak this time. Not a single word. Yet there had been so much communication. She’d recognized the appreciation in his light blue gaze, and the longing that mirrored hers. She’d fallen into the welcoming depths of his eyes and found herself yearning for dark forbidden corners where their bodies could share secrets.
It was all so wrong. Yet the knowledge did little to curb her desire.
She didn’t want to contemplate that he might have taken advantage of Lady Hermione, that he might be the sort who left broken hearts in his wake. Surely he understood how vulnerable hers was. Although she had no intention of giving it to him. What they shared was the physical only. She couldn’t allow it to be more. She couldn’t risk being hurt again. Love led to unparalleled pain that couldn’t be assuaged so easily. Always there would be a final separation.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online